Endy places 1st in state, 3rd in world in Read Bowl

Endy Elementary School students are bowled over by reading — so much so that 155 third to fifth graders competed in this year’s Read Bowl.

Carrie Honeycutt

Carrie Honeycutt, media specialist and Read Bowl organizer for Endy, said Read Bowl is a free reading global competition where Pre-K through eighth graders compete for the most reading minutes in a four-week period.

Malcolm Mitchell, a retired football player, has made it his mission to show students the importance of reading, Honeycutt said.

“He has structured this competition to mimic a Super Bowl, hence where the name Read Bowl derived from,” Honeycutt said.

“This competition starts four weeks before the Super Bowl and finishes up at Super Bowl. This timeline is important as it represents four quarters like in a football game and the champions are announced on a Facebook live on Super Bowl Sunday,” she added. “There are multiple conferences that can be entered based on the grade level of the students. There is the Primary Conference, Big 3 Conference, Elementary Conference, Middle Conference and Big Cup Conference. Every conference has a state winner and a Global winner. This year approximately 280,000 students and 9,000 teams competed worldwide.”

Many individuals may be familiar with the Battle of the Books, which is a county competition. Honeycutt described the differences between it and Read Bowl.”

“Read Bowl gives us the opportunity to compete globally. Battle of the books is for just grades 4-5 in elementary school. Read Bowl can include all grades in elementary school,” she said. “Battle of the Books is more of a read and comprehend competition with a Q and A event at the annual Battle of Books competition event. Read Bowl is simply logging the number of minutes immersed in a book. Although comprehension is encouraged, it is simply just minutes reading. They are similar in that they are both reading competitions and a winner is declared at the finale.”

This is the second year Endy competed in Read Bowl. It is the only school in the county to do so, she said.

“We needed a way to boost our students’ reading stamina and passion for reading so we embraced the Read Bowl,” she said.

The school had 51 third graders compete. They finished fourth place in the state for the Big 3 Conference and 11th globally, Honeycutt said, while 58 fourth graders earned first place for the state in the Elementary Conference and third place globally. The fourth graders alone had 650,000 reading minutes documented, Honeycutt said.

The fifth grade classes had 46 compete, but they didn’t break the top 50.

“Competition alone is enough to drive many of our students. They yearn to hold the title of State and Global Champions,” Honeycutt said.

She said instructors use Facebook, speeches from pro sports players and other ways to motivate students of the goal.

“We provide engaging text that spark their interests so they are more willing to grab the book and read it. I also set up digital bookshelves based on themes like a sports theme bookshelf that they can access digitally and read for reading minutes,” she said. “We give them several opportunities to drop everything and read, show them that reading happens throughout the day such as reading directions on an assignment and give parents strategies to help their child read and record more reading minutes while they are at home like closed captions on TV, signs while traveling, menu at a restaurant, directions on a game, recipes while cooking, audio/print books and websites/online articles.This reading encouragement and these opportunities are offered schoolwide in our competing third, fourth and fifth grade. It takes all classroom teachers, support staff and leadership on board to make this happen. We all ‘speak’ the language for the four-week competition.”

B.J. Drye is general manager/editor of The Stanly News & Press. Call 704-982-2123.